GBCe, Ecoacsa and UPM join efforts to incorporate biodiversity enhancement in the design of sustainable building projects

Pond containing plants by using organic networks and coconut fiber batts to control soil erosion, retain sediments and humidity to facilitate re-planting in Plataforma Central Iberum (Illescas, Toledo)

Green Building Council España (GBCe), Ecoacsa Reserva de Biodiversidad and the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) have signed a collaboration agreement to work together to develop actions that promote sustainable building in Spain and at European level. They will cooperate by incorporating biodiversity-oriented design of business and industrial premises (BOP).

The agreement is framed within the objectives of the EU LIFE projects LIFE Level(s) and LIFE BooGI BOP. The first aims to promote a voluntary assessment framework that will lead to increase sustainable buildings in the European building stock. Level(s) also encourages taking into account the life cycle of the buildings to address environmental and climate risks. The LIFE BooGI BOP project promotes BOP design as part of green infrastructures such as biotope corridors -specially in urban and periurban areas in Europe- that are also able to improve the well-being of individuals and society.

Among actions that will be developed within the agreement, signing entities will cooperate organising training and awareness-raising sessions targeted at buildings maintenance staff, , architects, builders, developers, manufacturers or building, members of professionals associations and other experts from construction and building sectors.

The content of these sessions is designed to inform, raise awareness and empower attendees to support biodiversity protection and its strengthening within their workplaces, while at the same time make their buildings and environments more sustainable, and enhance working atmosphere and employee’s´ well-being.

Another common line of working, which is associated to GBCe´s certification tools, will consist in defining ways to measure impacts that the management of building and construction sectors has on biodiversity and ecosystem. That is, how activities from both sectors affect benefits that nature provides to society such us food, wood, fiber, clean air and water, carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and pollination, among others.

Research is one of the cornerstones of both LIFE projects involved in the agreement whose promoters have agreed to cooperate in this field. Specifically, they will design activities both at national and international scale to develop methods which make it possible to value the positive impact of biodiversity on architecture in environmental, social and economic terms. The agreement is therefore seeking enhance Nature-based Solutions as a means of fostering sustainability in building sector.

One of the objectives of the agreement is to collaborate with public administrations, universities, corporations practitioners, national and international organisations and associations in disseminating principles and good practices on sustainable design and construction of buildings.

Synergies, knowledge and resources shared for achieving the purpose of the agreement are expected to help accelerate the transformation of the building sector towards a sustainable building.

Objectives pursued by the framework agreement are aligned with the European Green Deal, which advocates for transformative changes in all of the economic and social spheres, including construction and building. The European Green Deal is aligned with the Paris Agreement on climate change and its aim is to ensure that Europe has a zero-emissions economy by 2050, and protects our environment to enhance individuals’ well-being and working atmosphere in businesses. In addition, it is an integral part of the EU strategy for implementing the United Nations 2030 Agenda for the Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

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